Donald Trump threatens to shut down social media as Twitter fact-checks himby Jimmy McCloskey
Donald Trump has threatened to shut down social media networks a day after Twitter began automatically fact-checking the contents of his tweets. The President of the United States tweeted Wednesday: ‘Republicans feel that Social Media Platforms totally silence conservatives voices. We will strongly regulate, or close them down, before we can ever allow this to happen.
‘We saw what they attempted to do, and failed, in 2016. We can’t let a more sophisticated version of that happen again. Just like we can’t let large scale Mail-In Ballots take root in our Country. It would be a free for all on cheating, forgery and the theft of Ballots. Whoever cheated the most would win. Likewise, Social Media. Clean up your act, NOW!!!!’
President Trump hit out hours after two of his tweets claiming mail-in ballots could lead to electoral fraud were flagged as ‘potentially misleading’ by Twitter. The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has led to a push for the November presidential election to be held via mail-in votes, with Trump repeatedly claiming such a measure would lead to widespread-fraud.
Despite his attacks on Twitter, the micro-blogging site remains the president’s preferred means of communication, and Trump regularly uses it to share his apparently unfiltered thoughts with his 80 million followers.
And President Trump hit out at social media networks for censoring him just one day after Twitter refused a stricken widowers pleas to remove tweets sent by the president suggesting that his wife had been murdered.
Since May 12, Trump has sent numerous messages falsely claiming TV host Joe Scarborough – a vociferous critic of his administration – may have killed former employee Lori Klausutis in 2001. Klausutis fell and died aged 28 while working for then Congressman Scarborough in his Florida office. An autopsy found she had been killed by an undiagnosed heart condition.
During a White House press conference on Tuesday, Trump doubled-down on the offending tweets, and even suggested Klausutis and Scarborough had been having an affair.
He said: ‘A lot of people suggest that. And hopefully someday people are going to find out.’ Trump also called Klausutis’s death ‘a very suspicious situation.’
Twitter sent Timothy Klausutis a letter apologizing for the ‘pain’ caused by the president’s tweets, but refused to remove them. The San Francisco-headquartered corporation has allowed Trump to break its own anti-bullying and harassment rules because it is in the ‘public interest’ to let a global leader speak freely.
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